10 Ways to Wrap Without Using Wrapping Paper

All of the packaging and paper during the holiday season can be such a waste! We love wrapping pretty packages but there are less-costly, ecological ways to present our presents. Here are 10 creative, economical ways that kids and parents can wrap presents, without spending a dime on wrapping paper.


1. Recycling Bin Raid – Use pages from magazines and newspapers that are destined for recycling. If you want to get fancy, and have the time, create thematically wrapped pages that hint at the gift (ie – use the drugstore circular to cloak the electric razor gift, or a clothes catalogue to wrap the outfit you’re putting under the tree).

2. Reusable Shopping Bags – We all have more reusable shopping bags than we need by now, so tuck some goodies into a canvas shopping bag, secure with ribbon and present the total package, without any waste.

3. Artwork – Can’t bear to toss the volumes of masterpieces your wee ones bring home? Employ these unique works of art as wrapping to personalize your gifts, and clear out the clutter.

4. Fabric – Have any leftover material from a sewing project, or is there a sweater with a hole in it that you know you’re just never going to fix? Use these unsalvageable scraps to create fun, textured wrapping. Tie up with bakery string for a holiday twist.

5. Graffiti – If the gift is already tucked into a plain white or brown box, festoon it with stickers, doodle on it colored pencils and draw a huge bow on top.

6. Tape only – Use decorative duct or plain masking tape to wrap smaller gifts, mummy-style.

7. Post-its – Slap different colored self-adhesive notes onto gifts to cover completely in fun patterns or randomly. Collect them when the present is unwrapped and reuse them for shopping lists.

8. Short Ends – If you have mismatched short pieces of gift wrap on hand, use them together for an eclectic approach, or turn some strips over, exposing the white side, to compliment the patterned pieces.

9. Containers – Reuse and decorate household containers from bottles to storage containers. Dot some glitter glue on an empty, clean baby wipes box and pop the gift inside. Bow optional.

10. The Envelopes Please – Save all the envelopes from the holiday cards (or bills) you receive and reuse them, patchwork style, to cover toys and gift boxes. Showcase the variety of postmarks for a theme and visual interest. And of course, recycle them after they’ve served their gift-wrapping purpose.